Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
  1. It's a stunning Roman triumph.
  2. Reviewed by: Ted Fry
    100
    It's that very rare feeling that you're settling into a movie whose individual elements are so finely attuned they fuse into a singular construct of pure entertainment.
  3. What matters for today's hero is the good fight, and Gladiator KOs us with a doozy.
  4. It lives up to the hype. Gladiator has its creaky moments, but it delivers a particular kind of visceral historical spectacle that movie audiences haven't seen in decades.
  5. 90
    Glorious, a colossus of rousing action and ferocious fun.
  6. Has the kind of super-cinematic qualities and bravura acting that make up for almost anything.
  7. If there's a soft spot in your heart for the sword-&-sandal epic -- and from the star rating above, I think you can guess where I stand -- then you'll swoon with giddy delight over Gladiator.
  8. An exhilarating, sweeping epic that begs to be seen on the largest possible screen.
  9. Reviewed by: Cody Clark
    84
    Combining a seething physicality with enough weary nobility and tightly checked rage for a dozen wronged heroes, (Crowe) provides the movie's vital center of gravity without looming over his co-stars.
  10. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    80
    Quite a good movie--a big, fat, rousing, intelligent, daring, retro, many-adjective-requiring entertainment.
  11. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    John Mathieson's widescreen cinematography is magnificent, and the pacing across 2½ hours is well modulated.
  12. One extended guilty pleasure.
  13. 75
    Lacks emotional depth and sweep -- but the movie still delivers the type of rousing, large-scale adventure that marked the best films of its kind
  14. At 2 1/2 hours, Gladiator is a long ride, but it doesn't drag.
  15. As formulaic, but occasionally outré multiplex-bound behemoths go, Gladiator is a foaming beast.
  16. 75
    Frequently gory, often talky, almost always watchable, never quite thrilling, Gladiator is a cold and big film that mixes solid acting with cheesy digital effects and sweaty action with stultifying chatter.
  17. 70
    Brawny, he-man spectacle combined with a surprisingly solid story and buttressed by excellent performances.
  18. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    70
    The heroism and the tigers and the epic grandeur all leave behind the flavor of cynicism.
  19. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    70
    The warm humanizing element in all the cool stuff is Crowe.
  20. Reviewed by: Andrea C. Basora
    70
    The fight scenes are dynamic, intricately choreographed, and downright exciting.
  21. 70
    What elevates Gladiator to the near-greatness it occasionally achieves is the performance of Russell Crowe as Maximus.
  22. 63
    Instead of the heat of humanity, what lingers on in the mind is the cool of the computerized effects.
  23. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    63
    It epitomizes the kind of high-profile bloodshed we now expect to herald the hazy, lazy, blockbuster-fixated days of summer.
  24. It ends with the corniest convention of all: an absurd mano-a-mano between good and evil.
  25. 60
    Filled with brilliant filmmaking and features outstanding performances, but it's neither profound enough nor pop enough to be great -- it's mournful, serious, beautiful and, finally, pointless.
  26. 60
    The digital animation is far more evident here than in "The Phantom Menace."
  27. Like an aging athlete who knows how to husband strength and camouflage weaknesses, it makes the most of what it does well and hopes you won't notice its limitations.
  28. The script by producer David Franzoni, John Logan, and William Nicholson is serviceable but not exactly inspired.
  29. 50
    It employs depression as a substitute for personality, and believes that if the characters are bitter and morose enough, we won't notice how dull they are.
  30. Scott's filmmaking is as blunt and bullying as the mayhem it portrays.
  31. 50
    Well, it's better than "The Phantom Menace."
  32. 50
    It's a loud, obnoxious, and pleasant-enough entertainment, but hardly the soaring tale of one man's struggle that it was so clearly envisioned to be.
  33. The soul of Gladiator is made sluggish by a maddening lack of suspense.
  34. 40
    For all its grandeur, Gladiator is a canned experience, a film that flails around awkwardly trying to find a reason to exist, or at least a compelling story to tell.
  35. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    40
    Gladiator's combination of grim sanctimony and drenching, Dolby-ized dismemberings left me appalled.
  36. Friends, Washingtonians, countrymen, I come not to praise Gladiator but to bury it.
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 479 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 117
  1. jakep
    Dec 24, 2009
    10
    The best movie i have ever seen (and I am a film critic). It is an inspiring, mesmerizing, beautiful, action packed flick. It is about strength, honor, courage betratal, ruthlessness, survival, and even incest! This is the type of movie thatll motivate you to fight for what you live for because as gladiator said it best "what we do in life, echoes in eternity". Full Review »
  2. Sep 25, 2011
    6
    "Gladiator" is just your average Rome summer flick, between all those massive action and masterful dialogue.
  3. Aug 5, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I saw the film really late. The dialogues, the action scenes, the action, and the direction, wow, everything is absolutely terrific. "What we do in life, echoes in eternity". The best dialogue I have ever heard, so Philosophical, so Strengthening, so Inspiring, and just so Wonderful. I'd love to watch it all over again and again. The film is Remarkably great. I think enough said !! Full Review »